This unit revolves around the recent settlement of the Tiriti O Waitangi claims by Moriori and the outcomes for Moriori.

This is essentially a Social Sciences unit and it focuses akoranga on knowing, learning and doing. There are mathematical concepts embedded throughout the unit as well as historical discovery and a whole lot of opportunities for all aspects of literacy.

Big Picture Ideas. 

Justice is supposed to be just !

FACTGROUND“:  Share this with akoranga.

Moriori are the indigenous people of Rēkohu (the Chatham Islands). The Chathams are a part of New Zealand and have been officially since 1842. The Moriori people are therefore a “people of New Zealand” and are NOT simply another Maori Iwi (tribe) or hapū (family group).

Moriori actively practised a form of pacifism and religiously forbade any killing of each other. ALL Moriori held to this belief.

In 1791 Europeans accidentally ‘discovered’ the Chathams.

From not long after that point in time, there has been a continuous European presence on the islands with sealers, whalers and settlers making the place their home. 

In 1835, two Taranaki tribes, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama having been dispossessed of their own tribal lands had moved south to Wellington. Hearing about the food supplies and natural resources on the Chathams, and the fact that the locals did not practice warfare, they decided to head down there. 

Once there, they killed and subjugated the Moriori, and claimed all of the lands, The Moriori potentially could have combatted this invasions, possibly with success, but their own laws and rules forbade them from doing so.

The population in 1835, prior to the invasion, was approximately 1660 Moriori. Less than 100 years later, the last known full-blooded Moriori passed away. 

Several times over those intervening years, Moriori petitioned the government and/or Governor of the day for assistance. No record remains of any official reply, if indeed one was ever made. It wasnt until 1862, some 22 years after the Treaty was signed, that slavery was officially outlawed on Rēkohu. 

Teaching and Learning Activities

Overview: In this unit akoranga read, study and discuss the various land court results and their impact on Moriori. A discussion on what a treaty settlement for Moriori should look like, compared to:

  • other  settled claims (ie: Tainui, Nga Tahu)
  • what the value of the land is today that they lost
  • what would be fair for Moriori and Ngati Mutunga

Finishing with a look at what the actual 2021 settlement results were and what could be done better to give Justice to Moriori


Kaiako will set up a Topic Zone (learning centre) with books, school journals, newspaper cuttings, photos, maps timelines etc (see list of resources accompanying this unit.) Include information from;

  • a map of Rēkohu (opens in a new tab)
  • A map of Treaty Settlements
  • A discussion around Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi and what the differences mean.
  • A discussion around why/how the Treaty applies to Moriori
  • The purpose of Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty claims
  • The process of Treaty claims as it related to Moriori (and compared to Maori)
Introduction: What is a Treaty Settlement?

TASK 1:  Independent Report Writing

  • 1.    Using the I know sheet students write down key points as they uncover them.

2.   Akoranga draft an introductory paragraph and conclusion to their report. The report is about their combined knowledge of “What is a Treaty Settlement

3.   Complete the draft writing. Edit and proof read. Share the report with a partner. Encourage the students to give feedback based on the self assessment for the writing.

4.   Publish on own (or class) blog/vlog.

Kaiako to print a copy of each report and bind them into a class book about “Our early knowledge of Treaty Settllements.

Assessment of Report

  • Self Assessment   Click here >>>>>>>>
  • Assessment of Report against exemplars (See NZ Exemplars online)

Did the Treaty Apply to Moriori?

TASK 2: “Speed Search.”

Organise class into ‘teams’ of 4. Ideally Kaiako will have prizes for winning team, with extras for positive collegiality and support from within teams. All learners should be well mixed up so they all get to experience working in different group settings.

Groups choose who plays each role.

Each team must have a

  • Researcher
  • Scribe – and note taker
  • Proof Reader
  • Cryer

Each group is assigned 1 device and a pad and pen to record notes.

Kaiako has the task hidden and reveals only at the last moment, once all teams are ready.

The ‘race’ is to find out and record a presentation on why Moriori could make a claim under the Treaty of Waitangi / Tiriti o Waitangi. The more relevant and concise the report and the more details to support their presentation, the more points they will get. Once the report is completed in writing, it is to be handed in with the time noted on it by Kaiako.

Points given for each group member fulfilling their role and for helping each other.

Once all groups are done, then stage two involves the cryer from each group reading it to the class -last one finished reads theirs first.

Scribe from each group makes additional notes on paper to supplement their original report. Without telling them in advance, points are given for supplementary notes- although these are not added to the reports

At the end hold a discussion around why Moriori could claim under the Treaty. If the class have it right, then let the discussion flow. If they have missed the point, make it to them.

Award prizes and have a debrief about the process they went through and how they could do it better.

Teacher’s Assessment (Unit Evaluation) How well did the akoranga engage with this unit? Did all akoranga achieve all of the learning outcomes? If not, why not? What would you do differently if you were to teach this unit again? What have you learned about Rēkohu and Moriori as a result of this teaching and learning experience? What do you now want to know?